In September 2003, Kazakhstan the largest of the former Soviet Republics hosted the inaugural Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in the capital, Astana. Spurred by the Congress' success, the President of Kazakhstan decided to make it a triennial event and commissioned the construction of the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation that was to be the permanent venue for the Congress and a global center for religious understanding, the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and human equality.
The pyramid shaped building stands 62 meters tall with a symmetric 62 x 62-meter base. The structure is clad in stone and glazed inserts with an apex of stained glass. The Palace houses a 1,500-seat opera house, The Museum of National History, The Research Center of World Religions, Library of Spiritual Religious Literature, Exhibition and conference rooms.
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